Suffering is a device to turn one’s thoughts in the direction of God.
The wind rings the chimes. What do you hear?
Giving and receiving consolation
Consolation is a beautiful word. It means “to be” (con-) “with the lonely one” (solus). To offer consolation is one of the most important ways to care. Life is so full of pain, sadness, and loneliness that we often wonder what we can do to alleviate the immense suffering we see. We can and must offer consolation. We can and must console the mother who lost her child, the young person with AIDS, the family whose house burned down, the soldier who was wounded, the teenager who contemplates suicide, the old man who wonders why he should stay alive. To console does not mean to take away the pain but rather to be there and say, “You are not alone, I am with you. Together we can carry the burden. Don’t be afraid. I am here.” That is consolation. We all need to give it as well as to receive it.
Nouwen, Henri J. M. (2009-03-17). Bread for the Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith (pp. 42-43). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
Two timely posts seeking to inform voters
In the bulletin insert from Episcopal News Service (ENS) for 10/7/12 a link was provided to video statements from President Barack Obama and Governor George Romney as each addressed the concerns of the Circle of Protection (“an ecumenical alliance of Christian leaders, including Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who is an original member.” ENS).
- What About Hungry and Poor People? Barack Obama’s and Mitt Romney’s Views from the Circle of Protection
On Wednesday, 10/10/12, Religion News Service (RNS) posted a link to an Open Letter signed by “more than 100 moral theologians, Catholic economists and scholars … critiquing Paul Ryan’s libertarian leanings as contradictory to Catholic teaching.” (RNS) I encourage you to read it for yourself.
The sun has disappeared
I have switched off the light
and my wife and children are asleep.
The animals in the forest are full of fear,
and so are the people on their mats.
They prefer the day with your sun
to the night.
But I still know that your moon is there,
and your eyes and also your hands.
Thus I am not afraid.
This day again
you led us wonderfully.
Everybody went to his mat
satisfied and full.
Renew us during our sleep,
that in the morning
we may come afresh to our daily jobs.
Be with our brothers far away in Asia
who may be getting up now. Amen.
A prayer from Ghana in An African Prayer Book, pp. 122-23
Sufi saying: Shannon, Maggie Oman (2009-12-22). Prayers for Hope and Comfort: Reflections, Meditations, and Inspirations (p. 12). RedWheelWeiser – A. Kindle Edition.